Isolation of a novel fusogenic orthoreovirus from eucampsipoda africana bat flies in South Africa

Petrus Jansen Van Vuren, Michael Wiley, Gustavo Palacios, Nadia Storm, Stewart McCulloch, Wanda Markotter, Monica Birkhead, Alan Kemp, Janusz T. Paweska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We report on the isolation of a novel fusogenic orthoreovirus from bat flies (Eucampsipoda africana) associated with Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) collected in South Africa. Complete sequences of the ten dsRNA genome segments of the virus, tentatively named Mahlapitsi virus (MAHLV), were determined. Phylogenetic analysis places this virus into a distinct clade with Baboon orthoreovirus, Bush viper reovirus and the bat-associated Broome virus. All genome segments of MAHLV contain a 5' terminal sequence (5'-GGUCA) that is unique to all currently described viruses of the genus. The smallest genome segment is bicistronic encoding for a 14 kDa protein similar to p14 membrane fusion protein of Bush viper reovirus and an 18 kDa protein similar to p16 non-structural protein of Baboon orthoreovirus. This is the first report on isolation of an orthoreovirus from an arthropod host associated with bats, and phylogenetic and sequence data suggests that MAHLV constitutes a new species within the Orthoreovirus genus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number65
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 29 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Bat flies
  • Eucampsipoda africana
  • Fusogenic orthoreovirus
  • Nycteribiidae
  • Reoviridae
  • Rousettus aegyptiacus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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